Travel by bus: instructions for use and to leave prepared

Who I am
Aina Martin
@ainamartin
SOURCES CONSULTED:

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

Author and references

I travel by bus they are my favorites, they are the ones that most convey to me the meaning of journey combined with the sense of freedom.
How many times do we choose our destination thanks to the stories and anecdotes of other travelers? I took a chance and asked some of mine travelblogger you prefer to tell me something about their bus trips, so let us be inspired give their stories!


VIP bus in Iran


I love bus travel: I think it's one of the things I love most about traveling the world, but there are also those who hate them and have had terrifying experiences to say the least.
I actually not only love them, but I also find them extremely comfortable and extremely advantageous.
First of all, bus trips give me the opportunity to immediately have an idea of ​​the country I am visiting because they allow me to observe the landscapes around in peace, without having to concentrate on driving and on the road.
On the bus I was also able to make some really special encounters such as the one on the bus in Tanzania which allowed me to talk to local people, learning a lot from them and making me reflect on many things.
In fact, most of the time when you travel you are in contact with local people who still have something to do with tourism: hoteliers, tour guides, restaurant managers and souvenir sellers. But the meetings that take place on the buses are completely different, because you have the opportunity to meet people who have nothing to do with tourism: people who lead different lives, different jobs and who can give us a completely different vision of country where we are. On the other hand it is undeniable that there is also something extremely romantic about bus trips, especially those at night. Or not? Being lulled by the curves, by the accelerations, seeing your own image reflected in the glass while the lights of the cities flow out of the window, observing the changing landscape every moment, offering always different shows, from sunsets over the sea to sunrises in the desert.



Night buses in Brazil are very high-end

As I said, however, traveling in this way is also extremely advantageous, especially economically speaking (do not forget that I am Genoese eh)

First of all bus trips are much cheaper and therefore allow me to travel longer. In addition to being generally much cheaper than renting a car or traveling by plane they allow me to  save the hotel night which is often one of the biggest costs of a trip. But not only.
traveling on night buses saves an even more precious thing: time. Fall asleep in one city and wake up in the next allows you to maximize, avoids spending a lot of time in transit from one place to another, time that you can then devote to visiting the place where you arrive.

Traveling on buses in Croatia

Traveling by bus is very different in every part of the world and the experiences can be really different: from travel by luxury bus with all the comforts to real journeys of hope on super ramshackle vehicles, but of which you never forget.
In any case, there is some advice that you can always give, here are some:

- arrive at the station always at least 30 minutes before the departure of your bus, but if you are not familiar with the language, arrive a little earlier
- If you check that when your backpack is loaded you will be assigned a number with which to prove that it is yours at the time of collection. If they don't give it to you, if someone gets off on the way, make sure they don't take your backpack away.
- Bring a sweatshirt or a jersey, in many countries air conditioning is fired on buses and people die of cold, as for example in Mexico.
- Put your money and your documents in a belt like those you keep under your clothes, especially if you travel at night. On some night buses, such as in Mexico, you are often stopped by the police for checks, so it's more convenient to have your documents close at hand.
- Bring a pillow of those from the plane and a band to cover your eyes.



During an overnight trip to China

- Bring some wipes or hand sanitizer, as well as a roll of toilet paper: it is essential since in the bathrooms you meet along the way, there is often no paper.
- Bring water and something to nibble on during the trip but try to drink little because buses do not always have toilets and often spend hours between stops.
- Try to understand whatever the arrival station, there are often many stations in large cities and it is better to try to get to the one closest to the hotel or the most central one.
- often bus stations (as well as train stations) are the favorite hunting ground for pickpockets. Therefore, it is not necessary never lose sight of your things, especially if small and valuable (such as cell phones and cameras)
- last tip, but most important of all: put yourself in the ears of good music, relax and enjoy the ride!

On the night buses in Mexico the air conditioning is very high!

Get inspired!

How many of our travels do we decide to undertake thanks to some stories or anecdotes of crazy travelers friends who have done it before us? So let us be inspired once again by the adventures of travelers!

Cabiria (Trip or Treat?): The one from Sihanoukville to Bangkok it was one of the most troubled journeys ever; at the start, when I asked how long it would take, the answer was evocative: “between 11 and 18 hours”, and already there I should have guessed what was waiting for me.
The rest was a succession of tragicomic curtains: Chinese struggling with their bile, totally out of control air conditioning and abandonment in more or less remote places.
Would I do it again? Yes, absolutely! This type of trip, at the moment, is one of those that disrupt, but in the long run it enters by arrogance among the best memories, those that make people say satisfied "I really did that thing there!"



Margherita (The Crowded Planet): I night buses they are a very divisive topic in the travel community. There are those who love them (I save a night in the hotel!) And those who hate them (yes, but I arrive looking like I just came out of The Walking Dead). Regarding my experience, it depends a lot on the bus itself. In Vietnam, India and Laos I traveled on very comfortable buses with reclining seats or real beds, and a bus in India even had mini-rooms. All this for a paltry price. In Europe, on the other hand, I can't say I was so comfortable.
Madagascar deserves a separate chapter. Not only travel by taxi-brousse (minivan, local public transport) is very uncomfortable at all hours, at night it is also dangerous. The drivers do not follow the rules, they travel with their lights off and compete with each other to see who arrives first. And since taxi-brousses are also used for transporting money, they are often victims of robberies during the night. I took the taxi-brousse at night only once and… never again! Luckily I'm here to tell you!

Buses in Costa Rica are comfortable but very slow.

Silvia (Silvia’s Trips): The bus trip to a foreign country is always worthy of note, if only for the inevitable exchange that is created with the locals with whom you share the experience, which although short tends to be intense.
Among the movements of this type that I prefer to remember there are undoubtedly those in Sri Lanka and in Myanmar! In Myanmar there are two types of buses: day buses for short / medium-haul routes within a province and night buses for long interregional routes.
In the first case, it is mostly Chinese city buses sold to Myanmar at the time of supposed scrapping and here revived to the delight of the passengers' spine. Obviously they have no suspension, but also air conditioning and circulate with windows locked in a wide open position, not so much to remedy the heat as to allow passengers to spit betel-mixed saliva outside ... the window lock also allows street vendors to sell fruit, snacks and drinks at every stop without slowing down too much.
Tickets can be bought directly at the bus stop just before departure.
The buses that travel at night are a little more elegant and the air conditioning is at maximum, anytime! Not being able to open the windows, however, a bottle of water is placed in front of each seat to be able to rehydrate and a plastic bag to allow the betel chewers to spit every few minutes.
The common denominator of all buses are the central screens that broadcast music video clips, karaoke and local TV series throughout the journey and at maximum volume. Beware because some local soaps are addictive !!!

Night bus in China

Sonia (On the Paths of the World): Yet even in India, where the means of transport seem to come out of the manufacturer already to be scrapped, as if they had just been born fifty years, some avant-garde bus companies are being developed and equipped with all comforts. Once in a while during your wanderings to the limit of endurance and often also of decency, why not give yourself a moment of respite without necessarily ending up on the street? Given that a trip to India should not miss a visit to Hampi, if you are headed to Mumbai, do not miss a ride with the VRL company: single or double bed with pillow already incorporated in the form of the mattress, air conditioning and cover. apparently freshly washed batteries (I doubt but we leave out Emoticon smile, reading light, power socket and mobile phone holder but above all, private screen with audio adjustable at will to stay updated on the latest bolliwood news that the driver will pass at the convent ... unbelievable All this for a total of 1300 rupees (less than 20 euros) and about 14 hours of travel.The bus leaves at 18 pm from Hospet to reach Mumbai in the morning.

Paola (Sorry I'm going) : In Vietnam, I spent 10 hours in the bed above the toilet. Check the assigned seat carefully and ask where the toilet is! The worst? In Colombia, but because it was - 7 degrees on the bus!

Deborah (Travel Notes): The worst?? Night bus Puno - Cusco. About 3800 meters of altitude. Symptoms of altitude sickness: fever, dizziness and nausea, and I had them all! Assigned seats? The first two on the upper floor, so I will never forget those elbow curves overlooking nothing! Then add the raid, in the middle of the night, of the police for checks on passengers and you understand why I still remember it as the worst trip of my life !!!

And have you ever made gods travel by bus that you particularly remember? If so, why don't you tell us about them in the comments?

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